Monday, February 11, 2013

Losing their way...

I attended an Indian classical music concert after ages.  An all-night one at that (and we lasted the night.)

The concert boasted of big names, and there were some pleasant surprises, but on the whole, I was very disappointed and depressed after the concert.

Many of these artistes, in an effort to display their expertise in music, indulged in what I can only call musical acrobatics.  As a result, the melody and the quality of music was compromised.  At the end, it was more of noise and cacophony than anything else.

I have a similar grouse against literary writers.  They are so eager to show what great command they have over the language that they use flowery writing and grandiose words and the result is that it distracts one from the flow of the story.  While I am reading a book, if I stop to think, "Wow, how did he think up such a  turn of phrase?"  or worse, "Just a sec, what exactly did she mean to say with that complicated combination of words?" - then that book is a failure to me.  There are many writers out there who insert brilliant phrases and descriptions without breaking the flow of the story, or without making you stop to wonder what that was all about.  Oh yes, some writers do make me stop and catch my breath sometimes, but only to say, "How beautifully she said that! I totally understand and relate to that."  That - That is what makes a book a success.  Blend your cleverness into the story.

I recently came across some discussions of some latest movies too - someone said that the technology and the computer graphics is the star of the movie, and it doesn't have much going for it in terms of a story.

Why are we losing sight of the main intention?  When did the tools that was supposed to be just aiding you, become more important than what you set out to do in the first place?


austere said...

Partly expertise/ mastery, and who would not seek acclaim from a distinguished audience?
Partly market, even writers and singers have bills to pay; as someone recently remarked.
What do you do when no one’s watching, that is the real mastery of the craft. I remember at a recent studio event when a maestro from a distant village essayed the notes like etching lines on glass, and then humbly said that he was not learned.

Manish'sMom said...

I know exactly what you mean :) I find that most of the time, modern authors/musicians don't grip me. Too much playing to the gallery or showing off. Give me the sheer genius of MS Subbulakshmi in music or the sheer magic of a PG Wodehouse or Erle Stanley Gardner or Sidney Sheldon! Now that's what I would call mastery :) isn't it?

Aarthi said...

Agree with you Shruthi. Artists sometimes miss the whole point.

Shruthi said...

Austere, I am not so sure of it being a distinguished audience. The crowd was very young, who hooted and whistled at every display of "mastery." I have noticed that musicians indulge in this display of showmanship mainly when the crowd is young. But then, yes, they are the future, and the musician has to make a name for himself....
Wow, listening to that maestro must have been some experience.

Manish's mom, yes! Wodehouse - what he can achieve with a few clever words!

Aarthi, yes :(

Viky said...

I know a person at work who writes a simple sentence and the goes right-click .. synonyms and chooses the least recognised suggestion to replace his word. Over time, we have learnt to do that the other way around to understand his emails. :D

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